Monday 25 July 2011

Hard Bodies

True to my word, I went to climb the stairs at McHugh bluff this morning. First I had to walk Buster and for some reason he was just full of it today. Sure, he got rid of most of “it” along the way but between the cheek tweeking and scent smelling the walk seemed to last forever.

McHugh bluff is about a twenty minute drive from my place and it has a stunning view of downtown Calgary and the Bow river. There is a stairway from the top of the bluff to the bottom which has 11 flights of stairs, for a total of 167 steps. I have managed to find reasonable excuses not to do the stairs for four months, but today I had decided to start again and just couldn’t find a valid reason not to. My friends that I generally do the stairs with did manage to find a good enough excuse not to show. If they were good friends they would have shared their excuse! They did however, manage to meet me for coffee.

I managed to get four sets completed before my legs began to quiver, my mouth dried up, knees were aching and somewhere on the way up that last time I lost my lungs. If anyone finds them, just leave them at the top of the stairs, I don’t think I can make it down and up again.

It was a beautiful sunny day and the visibility was amazing. There was a great view of the city and river, but also the mountains looked phenomenal. When you are stopped and trying to catch your breath, berating yourself for attempting something so stupid,  the view takes what little breath you have left away. Walking up the stairs, all that I can concentrate on is left foot, right foot and breathe in and out. On the way down you get to look at the other people who are doing the same thing that you are, but it seems that they aren’t having nearly the difficulty that I am having. Oh well. Good for them, we will see how well they do when they are my age. Okay, a couple of these hard bodies passed my age at least fifteen years ago, but I am sure (well, pretty sure) they weren’t doing this fifteen years ago.

I suppose that the stairs draw a different crowd at night, judging from the wine bottles, beer cans, used condoms and half eaten pizzas which are tossed at the side of the stairs. Since the city allows the area to grow pretty wild, it is also the bedroom of quite a number of homeless people. It is a multi use area after all according to the brochure. I couldn’t help but notice something odd, which was laying at the side of the stairs about half way down. It was an empty bottle of Kraft Peppercorn Ranch Dressing. Beer, wine and liquor bottles I can understand, but Peppercorn Ranch? WTF! What is the chance one of the homeless was having a salad half way up the stairs? Why would a drunken kid have a bottle of salad dressing with him? How much salad did they have to need the contents of a full bottle of dressing? If it were one of the homeless you would have thought they would buy the cheaper no name rather than the name brand.

I suspect that I will never know the answer to this question or why I feel the need to do the stairs at all. Perhaps this is my fatal flaw. Well, all I know is that I have a good excuse to miss this coming Wednesday as I am looking after my grandsons.

Might be easier to do the stairs...


  1. You had me laughing with salad dressing bottle. You must have lost those strong postie legs since retirement! We have a few steep stairs here on Van. Island with great vista views and I try to climb them at least once a month while out for my morning walk. I must admit it's a little tougher now then before retirement, but still worth the effort. B

  2. actually i can explain the salad dressing bottle which has been there since Stampede. it's a long story, so one rainy day while we coffee, i can enlighten u....